The winners of the 2008-2009 Distinguished Educational Leadership Award include:

Marshall Cartland

District of Columbia Public Schools

Marshall Cartland is the principal of the Webb Wheatley Educational Center in the District of Columbia. Mr. Cartland has been with the DC Public School system since 1999.  Prior to that he was a teacher in Southern California.  He also worked for Teach for America and the Baltimore City Public Schools.  Mr. Cartland is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. and earned his teaching certificate from the University of Maryland.  He completed his MA at California State University, Dominguez Hills.


Terry DeCarbo

Prince William County Public Schools

Terry DeCarbo has been the principal of Independent Hill School and PACE East since 1991.  Prior to coming to Prince William County, Mr. DeCarbo worked as a teacher and then principal at Wayland School in Phoenix, Ariz.  He earned his BS in Special Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn. and a MEd in Special Education from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.


Cynthia Hankin

Howard County Public Schools

Cynthia Hankin is the principal of Deep Run Elementary School in Howard County. Mrs. Hankin has been with Howard County Schools since 1991.  Mrs. Hankin received her BS in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland in College Park and her MS in Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.


Sarah Hayes Campbell

District of Columbia Public Charter Schools

Sarah Hayes Campbell is one of the co-founders of KIPP DC: Key Academy in Washington, DC. Her first position there was as a math teacher.  Ms. Hayes Campbell became vice principal in 2003 and principal in 2005.  Previous to co-founding KIPP DC: Key Academy, she was a teacher with Teach for America.  Ms. Hayes Campbell graduated from Brown University in Boston, Mass. with a BA in Public Policy, with a focus in educational policy.


Joan Holden

Private School

Joan Holden is the head of school at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va.  She has held this position since 1991 when St. Agnes School merged with its brother school St. Stephen’s.  Ms. Holden was the headmistress of St. Agnes at that time and led the joining of the two schools.  Before joining St. Agnes, she spent 12 years at Groton School in Groton, Mass. as dean of students as well as associate director of admissions.  Ms. Holden earned her BA at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. and her EdM at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.


Deirdre Lavery

Fairfax County Public Schools

Deirdre Lavery began her career in Fairfax County Schools as a special education teacher at Frost Middle School in 1987.  Since then she has also worked at Lake Braddock Secondary School, W.T. Woodson and Groveton Elementary School.  Ms. Lavery became principal of Glasgow Middle School in 2004.  Ms. Lavery received her BA in Special Education from Marymount University and her MEd in Educational Leadership and her EdS from George Washington University.


Donald Lilley

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Donald Lilley is the principal of Annapolis High School in Annapolis, Md.  Mr. Lilley has been principal there since 2004.  Prior to that he was the principal at Annapolis Middle School.  Mr. Lilley began his career in Anne Arundel County schools as an art teacher at Severna Park Junior HS/MS in 1978.  Mr. Lilley earned his BS from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. and his MS from Loyola College in Baltimore.


Virginia McGraw

Charles County Public Schools

Virginia McGraw has been the principal at J.P. Ryon Elementary School in Waldorf, Md. since 2002. Before that she was with the Charles County Public School system for twelve years.  Mrs. McGraw began her career as a teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools. She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College in Providence, R.I and her MEd in Special Education from the University of Maryland.


Maureen Montgomery

St. Mary’s County Public Schools

Maureen Montgomery joined the St. Mary’s County Public School system in 1990 as a teacher at Leonardtown Elementary School.  From 1992 to 1997 she served as special education teacher at Margaret Brent Middle School before becoming assistant principal at Leonardtown Middle School.  In 2001, she joined the staff of Benjamin Banneker Elementary School as their principal and remained there until 2006 when she became principal of Spring Ridge Middle School.  Ms. Montgomery earned her bachelor’s of Psychology from the University of Maryland.


Eric Neff

Manassas Park City Schools

Eric Neff is the principal at Manassas Park Middle School.  He began his career as a business teacher at North Stafford High School in 1988.  He made the transition to administration in 1999 when he became assistant principal at Manassas Park High School. Mr. Neff assumed his current position in 2006. He earned his BS in Business Education and an MS in Vocational/Technical Education at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va.


Carol Pica

Prince George’s County Public Schools

Carol Pica is currently the principal of Marlton Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, Md.  She has served as Marlton’s principal for the last 12 years. In addition to working for Prince George’s County Public Schools for over 30 years, Mrs. Pica is also a graduate of the Prince George’s County Public School system. Mrs. Pica earned a BS in Education and her MEd from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.


Mark Pritts

Frederick County Public Schools

Mark Pritts is the principal of Middletown Primary School in Middletown, Md. Mr. Pritts opened this school in 2005. Mr. Pritts has also been a principal at Myersville Elementary School as well as an assistant principal and classroom teacher in Frederick County.  He earned his BA in Elementary Education at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va. and his master’s in Administration from Western Maryland College in Westminster, Md.


Cheryl Pulliam

Montgomery County Public Schools

Cheryl Pulliam has been the principal of Oakland Terrace Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. since 2002. Her career began as a kindergarten teacher at Somerset Elementary School in Chevy Chase, Md.  Mrs. Pulliam earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. and her MA in Special Education from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Gregory Robertson

Arlington Public Schools

Gregory Robertson is the principal of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va.  Mr. Robertson has been with Arlington Public Schools since 1999. Prior to that he was assistant principal in the Floyd County and the Bedford County School systems in Va.  Mr. Robertson earned his BS in Middle and Secondary Education from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn.  He earned his MS in Adult and Continuing Education and his EdS in Educational Leadership from Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va.


Michael Shisler

Calvert County Public Schools

Michael Shisler began his career as teacher with the U.S. Peace Corps in Central Africa Republic in 1972. After teaching in the Baltimore City School system for two years, he became a teacher in the Calvert County Public School system.  Dr. Shisler served as vice principal at Beach Elementary School for four years before becoming the principal in 1992.  He is also an adjunct professor at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md. Dr. Shisler earned his BA in English and his MEd in Reading from Loyola College in Baltimore, Md. and his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University.


Gayle Thyrring

Stafford County Public Schools

Gayle Thyrring is the principal of Falmouth Elementary School in Falmouth, Va. Mrs. Tyrring has been the principal there since 2002. She taught third grade then served as the director of a preschool while living in Okinawa, Japan.  Mrs. Thyrring earned a BA in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and her MEd from George Mason University.


Paul Vickers

Loudoun County Public Schools

Paul Vickers is the principal of Mill Run Elementary School in Ashburn, Va. After teaching in the Fairfax County School system for six years, Mr. Vickers joined Loudoun County Public Schools. He has held two assistant principal positions there and in 1997, he became the principal of Waterford Elementary School.  Mr. Vickers opened Mill Run in 2000.  He holds a BS in Elementary Education from Virginia Tech University and his MEd from George Mason University.


Marypat Warter

Fauquier County Public Schools

Marypat Warter is the principal of Claude Thompson Elementary School in Marshall, Va. Mrs. Warter began her career as a K-8th grade physical education teacher.  She became a reading teacher in 1993.  In 2001, Mrs. Warter was appointed school administrator of Northwestern Elementary School.  A year later, Northwestern’s name was changed to Claude Thompson and Mrs. Warter was named principal.  Mrs. Warter earned a BS in Psychology and Education from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.


Patricia Zissios

Alexandria City Public Schools

Patricia Zissios has been the principal of Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in Alexandria, Va. since 1998. Dr. Zissios has also been an assistant principal and an administrative assistant to the associate superintendent for instruction.  Before that, she was an elementary school teacher for 22 years.  Dr. Zissios has also been part of the part-time faculty at George Mason University since 1999. She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Longwood College in Farmville, Va.  Dr. Zissios earned her MEd and her PhD in Administration and Supervision from George Mason University.